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Consumer Affairs

Make an impact on the development, delivery, and evaluation of consumer goods. Consumer affairs specialists are involved in consumer advocacy and protection, law and legislation, housing, and financial planning and counseling. 

Degree Programs

Jobs

  • Law
  • Television and Radio
  • Consumer Advocacy
  • Public Utilities
  • Retail
  • Manufacturing
  • Market Research, Marketing
  • Education
  • Credit Counseling
  • Product Safety
  • Customer Service
  • Health Care
  • Financial Services, Banking, and Lending
  • Government
  • Food and Beverage
  • Housing Industry, Real Estate
  • Consumer Relations
  • Property Manager
  • Homeless Coordinator
  • Travel, Tourism, Resort and Hospitality Management
  • Public Relations
  • Taxes and Insurance
  • Personal Financial Planning
  • Journalism and Fact-finding
  • Investigation of Crimes against Consumers (Federal, State, and Local)
  • University or College Professor (requires a graduate degree)

Work Settings

  • Federal, state and county agencies
  • Private businesses
  • Housing authorities
  • Trade agencies
  • Food and drug departments
  • Consumer advocacy departments
  • Television and radio stations
  • Private and municipal law offices
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Credit counseling services
  • Educational institutions 
  • Public utilities
  • Health care facilities
  • Retail outlets
  • Financial services
  • Food and beverage manufacturers and distributors
  • Toy manufacturers
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Resort hotels and restaurants, and other industries interested in attracting and protecting consumers while improving products and services

Career Outlook & Pay

Outlook

The U.S. Department of Statistics projects an increasing population of retiring senior citizens. This is expected to result in an increased demand for quality healthcare advocates, senior housing administrators, and pre-retirement financial advisors. Global competition will pressure companies with less-than-competitive labor costs to manufacture safer and healthier products to maintain a competitive market share. This is expected to fuel the need for Consumer Affairs professionals designated to influence the quality of products and services in relation to the expanding world markets. Furthermore, the need for credit advisors, fraud counselors, and product safety advocates is expected to increase.  

Pay

Salaries will vary by size and type of employer, geographic location, coursework, and related experience. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Affairs professionals can earn an annual wage of up to $49,000 depending upon the industry. The leading industry for earnings in the Consumer Affairs field is the natural gas industry, where average earnings are as much as $57,000 annually. Typically, Consumer Affairs professionals enjoy competitive salaries with room for advancement. Many Consumer Affairs professionals advance in their careers to supervisory, managerial, and product development positions.  

Interests, Skills & Values  

Service orientation

Many consumer affairs specialists advocate and protect consumers. They shape policies that support the well-being of individuals, families, consumers, and communities.

Analytic skills

Consumer affairs specialists critique, develop, implement, and assess policies that may have a big impact on individuals, families, consumers, and communities.

Critical thinking skills

Consumer affairs specialists use diverse approaches for determining alternative solutions for consumer issues. 

Communication skills

Effective communication is key to working with individuals, families, consumers, and communities. Consumer affairs specialists must be able to speak and write clearly so others can understand them. 

Business skills

Consumer affairs specialists should have a deep understanding of legislation, financial planning, and housing services

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